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Incumbents stepping down to run for new offices

Several House incumbents are forgoing reelection to the lower chamber to either run for a different national office or take a job within their state in 2024.

As of now, 11 House Democrats and four House Republicans are stepping down and running for a different office. Of the 15, 11 of the representatives are running for the Senate. Two are running for their state’s attorney general position, one is running for governor, and one is leaving to head a university.

Here is a list of each member and their plans for seeking a new position in 2024.

Colin Allred

Rep. Collin Allred (D-TX) is stepping down from the House to run for Senate against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in 2024.

Allred has portrayed Cruz as an out-of-touch culture warrior who is not invested in working for everyday Texans. He highlighted Cruz’s trip to Cancun during Texas’s winter storm in 2021, which was criticized by both Democrats and Republicans at the time.

The Texas Democrat is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party, particularly the House Democratic Caucus, as a member of House Minority Whip Katherine Clark’s (D-MA) team. He flipped Texas’s 32nd Congressional District blue in 2018 by defeating former Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), who held the seat from 2003 to 2019. Allred is one of 13 Democrats in Texas’s 40-member congressional delegation.

A poll conducted in May by the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation and WFAA found Cruz with a 7-point lead ahead of Allred, 47% to 40%. In the Democratic primary, Allred led state Sen. Roland Gutierrez 33% to 22% and former Midland City Council Member John Love 33% to 4%.

Jim Banks

Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) is leaving the House to run for Senate to fill outgoing Sen. Mike Braun’s (R-IN) seat. A staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, Banks is facing what so far looks like an easy primary next year.

Banks has received a slate of endorsements and support from Trump himself, Senate Republican leaders, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and the anti-establishment Club for Growth, likely putting off many of Banks’s potential foes from entering the race.

The Indiana Republican is likely to face a primary from John Rust, who is currently engaged in a legal battle in the Marion County Superior Court in an effort to get his name on the primary ballot in May. Rust maintains that a current Indiana law blocking him from the primary ballot is unconstitutional. The law prohibits anyone from running for a party that differs from their past voting record — in 2008, 2010, and 2012, Rust voted in the Democratic primaries, and in 2020, he did not participate in the Republican primary, per the Indiana Capital Chronicle.

Banks is projected to be the winner of the Indiana Senate race. Several Democrats, including former state Rep. Marc Carmichael, Indianapolis City Councilor Keith Potts, and clinical psychologist Valerie Mccray, are running for their party’s nomination. An Emerson College poll conducted in October found that Banks led Mccray, 31% to 22%. Mccray held 62% of the Democratic vote.

Dan Bishop

Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) is running to become North Carolina’s next attorney general in November 2024, forgoing reelection for a third term in the House. He is leaving behind a comfortable red seat in the 14-member delegation now evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.

The Republican lawmaker said during a radio interview in August announcing his decision that he believes there is an opportunity to “use the influence of that office to restore law and order to our cities.”

Bishop will be entering a competitive race for a role that has historically been held by Democrats. Club for Growth PAC endorsed him for attorney general almost immediately. The hard-line House Freedom Caucus member has no Republican challengers, while Rep. Jeff Jackson (D-NC) and Democrats Tim Dunn and Charles Ingram are running in the Democratic primary.

During his time in the House, the North Carolina congressman voted against certifying President Joe Biden’s win in 2020 and openly criticized former House Speaker Kevin Mccarthy (R-CA). Democrats have also been quick to capitalize on Bishop’s advocacy for the state’s anti-transgender “bathroom bill” in 2016 as a reason that he is a “far-right, out-of-touch politician who is far outside the mainstream of North Carolina,” per the Associated Press. The bill, which was partially repealed after a year of negative financial impacts, mandated that transgender people had to use restrooms of the gender on their birth certificates.

Ruben Gallego

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) is running in 2024 to replace Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) in what is shaping up to be a competitive race.

Gallego is the front-runner of the Arizona Senate race, leading both Sinema and Republican 2022 gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake. Sinema has not yet announced whether she is running for reelection, and her entry into the race could cause trouble for Gallego and Lake, particularly if she can garner enough support from centrist Democrats and Republican independents.

A recent poll from Noble Predictive Insights shows Gallego leading the hypothetical three-way Senate race with 39% support, followed by Lake with 33%, and Sinema in last place, with 29% support. Another poll from the Cygnal group found Lake leading Gallego by 1 point, 37-36%, with Sinema trailing at 15%.

Democrats are eyeing Arizona as a key race to hold on to their razor-thin majority in the Senate. Gallego, who launched his bid for Sinema’s seat at the start of the year, has outraised Sinema, bringing in $3.1 million from April to June compared to Sinema’s $1.7 million raised in the same period.

Jeff Jackson

Rep. Jeff Jackson (D-NC) is also running for North Carolina attorney general, forgoing a reelection bid that will likely hand his seat over to Republicans in 2024.

Jackson’s entry into the race came one day after the state altered its 14 districts. He stated that he had “officially been drawn out of my district.” The new maps created 10 districts that favor Republicans, three that favor Democrats, and one that would be considered a toss-up, posing a serious threat to Democratic incumbents.

If selected as the Democratic nominee, Jackson will face off against Bishop in the general election. He is considered the Democratic front-runner of the race, facing off against Dunn and Ingram.

Bill Johnson

Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) became the 32nd House member to announce his intention not to seek reelection on Nov. 21. Johnson will instead become the president of Youngstown State University.

Johnson said he will only continue to serve for “several more months” and will not complete his full term. His decision was the 12th to be announced in November. He said it was a difficult decision to leave, and he was not actively seeking another job when the university’s trustees voted to make him president, 8-1.

“There is still much left on my agenda to do before I depart Congress, including doing all I can to help pass tax exemption legislation to benefit the people of East Palestine as well as a broader rail safety bill, streamline America’s LNG export process, and advance a responsible budget and spending package for the remainder of this fiscal year. It’s business as usual,” he said on Nov. 21.

Johnson, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment, has served as Ohio’s 6th District representative since 2011.

Andy Kim

Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ) is running in 2024 to replace Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

Menendez is the embattled Democratic incumbent currently facing a federal indictment on corruption charges.

The New Jersey congressman outraised Menendez during the third quarter, coinciding with Menendez’s drop in approval ratings and support from Democratic allies and fellow senators.

Kim, who launched his Senate campaign the day after Menendez was indicted, has a big lead, with 48% of state Democrats favoring him.

Barbara Lee, Adam Schiff, and Katie Porter

Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Katie Porter (D-CA), and Adam Schiff (D-CA) are all forgoing reelection in the House and running to replace the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein in 2024.

Sen. Laphonza Butler (DCA) replaced Feinstein, who died on Sept. 29, on Oct. 3. She said she does not intend to run for a full term in 2024.

The Senate race, expected to be one of the most competitive of the 2024 election cycle, is stirring up waves within the Democratic Party. California Democrats cannot agree on who to endorse in the high-profile election after a delegate vote held at the party’s convention on Nov. 19 found that no candidate earned 60%. Lee received the most support at 41%, followed closely by Schiff with 40% and then Porter with 16%.

A University of California, Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll from early November found Porter leading Schiff, 17% to 16%, with Lee trailing at 9%. Porter is preferred by voters under the age of 50, Schiff is more liked by those older than 65, and Lee dominates among California’s black electorate, according to the poll.

Alex Mooney

Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) is running to replace outgoing Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) in 2024.

Mooney was considered one of the two biggest threats to Manchin’s reelection campaign until the West Virginia senator announced on Nov. 9 that he would not be running for reelection. There is speculation rising that Manchin may be considering a third-party bid for president in 2024.

Now, the West Virginia congressman will face off against Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV) in the Republican primary. A September poll found that voters favored Justice over Mooney, 58% to 26%. A matchup between Mooney and Manchin revealed a narrow race, 41% to 45%, respectively. A Justice-manchin matchup found Justice leading, 51% to 38%.

Mooney announced his bid for Senate in November 2022, shortly after the midterm elections. He said his decision to enter the race stemmed from Manchin’s vote against confirming now-supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, as well as the senator’s stance on Roe v. Wade. With West Virginia trending more and more red, Manchin’s reelection chances would likely have been slim at best.

Lisa Rochester

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) is running for Senate after her mentor, Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), announced his retirement.

She was long expected to enter the Senate race and is the immediate favorite in the deep blue state. Blunt Rochester won Delaware’s sole congressional seat in 2016. If she wins the Senate race, she will be the third black woman to win election to the Senate.

Blunt Rochester’s departure from the House has already launched a competitive Democratic primary. Three candidates have entered the race for the at-large seat: state Sen. Sarah Mcbride, state Treasurer Colleen Davis, and Eugene Young, a rising star in Delaware politics.

Elissa Slotkin

Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) is running for Senate to replace outgoing Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).

Democrats have largely coalesced around Slotkin, who is leading the field and is the only Democratic candidate with congressional experience running in the Democratic primary. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) had confirmed in April that she would not enter the race despite speculation, leaving a mostly clear primary race for Slotkin.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) endorsed Slotkin in August, giving her campaign a boost in her battle against Hill Harper, an author and actor who is running to the left of the centrist Democratic congresswoman.

Michigan’s Senate race is being targeted by Republicans as a pickup opportunity and as a key battleground seat for Democrats to hold on to. Trump won the state in 2016, but the state flipped to Biden in 2020.

Abigail Spanberger

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) is forgoing a House reelection campaign and instead is running for governor of Virginia.

Spanberger will run to replace Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA), who is ineligible to run again for the gubernatorial position under state law. Youngkin’s departure is likely to set off a competitive race among Republicans to fill his shoes, while Spanberger will fight to turn Virginia into a Democratic trifecta.

The Virginia congresswoman announced her run for governor on Nov. 13 after months of speculation. Her departure from her House seat also sets the stage for a competitive and expensive congressional race in 2024, with several Democrats expected to run and a handful of Republicans already running campaigns for Spanberger’s seat.

David Trone

Rep. David Trone (D-MD) is running for Maryland’s open Senate seat after Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) announced that he would not seek reelection in 2024.

Trone announced his campaign in May, addressing the rising deaths related to fentanyl and the disproportionate incarceration rates between black men and white men. Trone was first elected to the House in 2018.

His Senate race will be supported by large purse strings. The fortune earned from his wine retail company, Total Wine & More, has allowed him to spend millions of dollars on his past campaigns. He has adamantly stated that he does not take money from “anybody,” including PACS, lobbyists, and corporations.

DIGITAL EXTRA | NATIONAL POLITICS

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2023-11-28T08:00:00.0000000Z

2023-11-28T08:00:00.0000000Z

https://daily.gazette.com/article/281711209403970

The Gazette, Colorado Springs